NBCSN’s Stanley Cup Final Week: Rangers vs. Kings

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NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights. Today, we give our memories from the the 2014 Cup Final between the Kings and Rangers.

JAKE: When a series ends in five games, the assumption is that the winning team controlled play for the vast majority of time. But the Kings’ 5-game victory over the Rangers in 2014 hardly played out this way. Check out the following breakdown:

Total Time Tied: 189:07 (51%)
Total Time NYR led: 111:04 (30%)
Total Time LA led: 69:34 (19%)

Going game-by-game, this could easily have been a five-game series in favor of New York, considering the Rangers held a lead in three of the four games they eventually lost, and held multi-goal leads in each of the first two games:

  • Game 1: NYR led 2-0 in 1st period; lost 3-2 in OT
  • Game 2: NYR led 2-0, 3-1, and 4-2; lost 5-4 in 2OT
  • Game 3: LA def. NYR 3-0
  • Game 4: NYR def. LA 2-1 (Rangers never trailed)
  • Game 5: NYR led 2-1 in 3rd period; lost 3-2 in 2OT

The Kings had to win three Game 7s to win the West that year, so perhaps it was no surprise they were able to rally so often during the Cup Final.

SEAN: There was no stopping Justin Williams during the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. His run to the Conn Smythe Trophy that spring ended with him collecting nine goals and 25 points. “Mr. Game 7” also kept up his knack for coming through in the clutch as he recorded five points in three Game 7s during that run, including the primary assists on Alec Martinez‘s Western Conference Final winning goal.

Williams picked up two goals and seven points in the Cup Final against the Rangers, and started the series off with an OT winner in Game 1:

[FULL NBCSN STANLEY CUP WEEK SCHEDULE]

JAMES: When you consider that (spoiler warning) the Kings dispatched the Rangers in a mere five games, it’s fair to argue that New York never really had a chance.

It might be unfair to say that people never thought, even for a moment, that maybe the Rangers might just get something going, though.

That moment happened hilariously early in the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. After Benoit Pouliot gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead about 13 minutes into Game 1, Carl Hagelin caused an audible gasp (granted, maybe only in my “parent’s basement”) when he made it 2-0 with a shorthanded goal.

During a brief stretch, one couldn’t help but wonder: might the Rangers use their speed to give the defensive-minded Kings some issues?

Maybe the Rangers accomplished that at times, but not enough. To be fair to Hagelin & Co., while the Rangers only won once, the Kings needed overtime for three of their four wins, including the memorable Alec Martinez series-clincher.

***

NBC Sports presents Stanley Cup Final Week on NBCSN, reliving classic Stanley Cup Final games and original films and shows from the past decade across seven nights, beginning on Monday, June 8.

Programming will also stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.

Friday, June 12 on NBCSN
• 2014 Stanley Cup Final Game 2: New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles – 8 p.m. ET
• 2014 Stanley Cup Final Game 5: New York Rangers vs. Los Angeles – 9:30 p.m. ET
• 2014 Los Angeles Kings Championship Film – 11 p.m. ET

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.